FOX NEWS: WASHINGTON – While taxpayers may be getting used to seeing federal agencies fritter away their money, there’s something ironic about the IRS doing it.
The tax-collecting agency is under fire over a training video from a 2010 conference that parodied “Star Trek” — and cost tens of thousands of dollars to make.
The IRS now says the video was a mistake and wouldn’t be made today. But Republicans were steamed as they portrayed the tape as yet another example of the government wasting tax dollars at a time of trillion-dollar deficits.
The agency says the six-minute video, along with a training video that parodied the TV show “Gilligan’s Island,” cost about $60,000. The “Star Trek” video accounted for most of the money, the agency said. The video features an elaborate set depicting the control room, or bridge, of the spaceship featured in the hit TV show. IRS workers portray the characters, including one who plays Mr. Spock, complete with fake hair and pointed ears. The production value is high even though the acting is what one might expect from a bunch of tax collectors. In the video, the spaceship is approaching the planet “Notax,” where alien identity theft appears to be a problem. It was shown at the opening of a 2010 training and leadership conference but does not appear to have any training value. The agency said it has tightened controls over the use of its production equipment to “ensure that all IRS videos are handled in a judicious manner that makes wise use of taxpayer funds while ensuring a tone and theme appropriate for the nation’s tax system.” The agency also said, “A video of this type would not be made today.”